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My Eye, Mon Oeil

In many cultures, tugging at one’s lower eyelid is an expression of skepticism, as if to indicate that the person is being watchful and alert and won’t be taken in. In the United States, the gesture may be accompanied by a phrase like...

Leather Britches Beans

A woman in Virginia Beach, Virginia, says her Appalachia-born grandmother would occasionally say that it was time to string the leather britches or to hang up the leather britches. She was referring to preserving green beans. So why the leather and...

Thoreau Talks About Trees

A vast Corinthian column. A fair, flaxen-haired sister with golden ringlets. An old citizen of the town. A harp upon which the wind makes music. An athlete that shows its well-developed muscles. A great green feather stuck in the ground. These are...

Names for the Mayfly

The mayfly, that insect whose time is up in a mere 24 hours or so, goes by many other names, including bay fly, cisco fly, drake fly, dun, eel fly, fish fly, flying clipper, green fly, July fly, June bug, June fly, and more. This is part of a...

Yard-Sailing Haiku

After a recent discussion on the show about garage-sailing, a listener from Henderson, Kentucky, sent us an apt haiku: Early birds gather near a green sea/ Garage doors billow on the morning wind/ Yard-saling. This is part of a complete episode.